ATLANTA - People across the country are reacting to the startling images of the breach of the US Capitol.
The president of Georgia's NAACP and activists said they noticed a stark difference in the way Wednesday’s event was handled, compared to November’s Black Lives Matter demonstration on the same Capitol steps.
Rioters stormed US Capitol grounds, using chemical irritants on law enforcement.
Lawmakers were trapped inside and told to wear gas masks as insurgents broke into their offices Wednesday. Only bike racks were in place as initial security.
Security in the nation's capital was much tighter during the Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, after months of unrest.
There were more than 7,500 Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country after the death of George Floyd. More than 93% of them were peaceful, according to a report by a nonprofit that researches political violence and protests across the world.
That's why local NAACP leaders said they demand action, not just political statements. They said President Donald Trump's rhetoric following the November election incited the violent behavior. They said they stand by the members of Congress who demand he be removed from office immediately.
"We cannot assume that we can wait until President-Elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in we have to take action now," Georgia State NAACP President Rev. James Woodall said.
"I am angered by the lack of policing the capitol police prepared for this even," Woodall said.
"My question is why didn't law enforcement respond with the same level of aggression and energy for these armed protesters who are now domestic terrorists as they did for peaceful protesters," Attorney Gerald Griggs said.
The title domestic terrorist has not been used by the FBI or other law enforcement.
In Atlanta, activists condemned the violence that erupted after protests last summer, often negotiating with instigators who interrupted demonstrations, urging them to leave before city curfews--even hugging police when agreements were made, but amid nationwide unrest, the President tweeted: "When the looting starts the shooting starts."
Wednesday, that was not the president's response to the insurrection at the Capitol.
"We have to have peace. Go home. We love you. You're very special," he said in a video that was removed from Twitter.
Georgia NAACP leaders said the contrast in policing makes their blood boil.
"The chief of the capital police needs to be held accountable. Second, the president is directly responsible for this. In fact, he needs to be held accountable," Woodall said.
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